Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1

    Default Accurate Distance Tracker

    Right now I am restricted to local trails, basically a town "nature preserve." It's a mess of a intermingled trails and the mileage doesn't appear to be very accurate especially when you start mixing pieces of trails together to extend your "hike." So I am looking to find something that can be very accurate with distance traveled. I have no idea if this would be a wearable tracker or an app or what have you.

    Any recommendations?
    https://tinyurl.com/MyFDresults

    A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world. ~Paul Dudley White

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    28
    Posts
    1,442

    Default

    I would first try out Strava on your phone and see if thats accurate enough for you.

    Check out Adventure Alans cell phone GPS article.

    I havent found cell phones to be that accurate. And mine screws up all the time and I get weird data. I never can record a full accurate track on my phone. I have no idea why. I havent really looked to much into it.

    If you want better maps you can try GAIA but it costs money.

    A GPS watch is a very solid choice but expensive. I use a Garmin 5S and its very accurate. It also keeps a very accurate elevation profile, and lots of other data.

    In fact I can turn it on to use GPS + Glonass which I believe gives the most accurate gps tracking we have available to us.



    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-05-2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Age
    72
    Posts
    1,104

    Default Accurate Distance Tracker

    I use Alltrails. No reason to think it's not accurate when recording my distance, tho I can do the same hike day after day and it will give me slightly different readings on elevation gained.
    It will also give you info on other trails close to your location.
    Several other phone apps and watches you could use for this

  4. #4
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-20-2013
    Location
    Upper East Side of Texas
    Age
    73
    Posts
    8,276

    Default

    Iím not exactly sure what the need for two decimal places accuracy is.
    I find the free version of Runkeeper on my iPhone 5s suits my needs for walking my neighborhood. I intentionally walk a different route on a maze of random streets. I aim for consistency in my minutes per mile measurement. Runkeeper also records my route.
    Good luck!
    Wayne

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    It seems that it makes quite a difference the way you carry the tracking device.

    I'm always using my smartphone running different apps.
    If I carry the phone in my thigh pocket, it will sum up the gained height to an irrelevant high number (roughly double the actual height gain).
    If I carry it in the chest pocket or the backpack, the vertical gain is calculated accurate.
    All other values are very exact in open terrain, not so much in dense forest, at the side of steep slopes or vertival walls, or inside canyons.
    The GPS in the smartphone is definitely accurate down to a single digit meter deviation, and the calculated length of a hike sure is more accurate than any step meter or map reading could ever be.
    Last edited by Leo L.; 06-30-2019 at 04:00.

  6. #6
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    28
    Posts
    1,442

    Default

    My Gaia track always gets fudged up! They start off good then start drawing crazy lines everywhere. On a 5 mile hike it will end up saying 12 on Gaia by the end of the day due to all the crazy things it's doing. And straight zig zag lines everywhere.

    Maybe its because I keep it in my pants pocket? Or maybe its because I only use it on bushwacks in dense forest?

    My Garmin watch is perfect every time though.

    I'll try keeping it in like a shoulder strap next time.

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

  7. #7
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-20-2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Age
    63
    Posts
    4,109
    Images
    3

    Default

    Modern phone GPS's are amazing these days, or at least my Google Pixel 2 one is, and my last phone, a Samsung was too. I use the free backcountry navigator app, my wife uses Gaia. BN seems to work better than Gaia for keeping an accurate track/distance, not sure why. Gaia is a far more popular app, but I like Backcountry Navigator much better. Totally free, except of course they try to have you buy the "pro" version, but I have not, and the free one I have works perfectly. I'm sure the apps already mentioned work great too. A watch would be great for quick glancing, but phones work so well, I just don't see the need to spend the $$$.

    FWIW, I always carry my phone in my pocket, and the track is nearly always good, without any extraneous points. Yesterday, for example, we did a massive 25 miler (massive for us old farts) and the resulting track was perfect. Over 13 hours of hiking, I used 25% of my phone's battery laying down the track, but also taking lots of pictures.

    One little weirdness with Backcountry Navigator, you cannot lay down a track while in "battery save" mode on your phone. The phone can, however be in Airplane Mode, which does not affect the gps apparently.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-27-2013
    Location
    Northwood, NH
    Age
    28
    Posts
    1,442

    Default

    This is what always happens on my Gaia. As much as id be proud of a 45 mile day. It was a 4.4 mile loop

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Rain Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-07-2003
    Location
    Nashville, Tennessee
    Age
    68
    Posts
    6,110
    Images
    620

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    This is what always happens on my Gaia. As much as id be proud of a 45 mile day. It was a 4.4 mile loop.
    What am I missing? I don't see any distance on that screen shot.
    ye shall not pollute the land wherein ye are: ... Defile not therefore the land which ye shall inhabit..... Numbers 35

    www.MeetUp.com/NashvilleBackpacker

    .

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    GPS on the Smartphone (even the one on my 5yr old Sony) is very accurate.
    One time in the desert, my mate lost his Garmin a few hours into the hike. We backtracked the route in the afternoon, I was following my own track from the morning, using my Sony again.
    Looking at the screen I belived the blue dot being slightly off to the left, against the old track - so I took a few steps to the right.
    When the blue dot and the old track were perfectly aligned on screen, I looked down to the ground - and saw my own footprints from the morning.
    This was in the open desert with perfect conditions for GPS.

    When in a narrow canyon, the recorded GPS track might jump around quite some, as can be seen in the sample pic.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11

    Default

    Accurate can be a subjective term when discussing cell phone GPS systems. Cell phones can be handy to figure out where you are in relation to maps or terrain features and can provide an estimate of mileage or elevation gain. However, there are any number of terrain issues like tree canopies, canyons/ravines, rock formations and water that can bounce signals around or cause disparate readings when hiking the same trail looking for the same results.

    I regularly hike a 3-mile route around a small lake that my Garmin handheld GPS records identical mileage of 3.1- miles and elevation gain of 248-feet (+/- 10 feet). My iPhone GPS does not get the same reading twice, typically showing between 2.7 to 3.3 miles, elevation gain varies from 180 to 300 vertical feet. The relative accuracy of the iPhone GPS tends to improve slightly in the winter months when the tree canopy is gone, but still provides varied results on the same trail.

    If approximation or a location reference tool is what's needed, cell phones are probably sufficient for routine hikes where distances/elevations are known, much like consumer grade power saws are probably sufficient for most occasional handyman projects. However, in my view, if a 2-decimal points to the right level of accuracy is desired, higher level GPS devices specifically designed for the task are needed.

  12. #12
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    Well, during my last desert hike Feb/Mar 2019, for several days I used my 4yr old Sony and a brand new Garmin simultanously.
    Carried the Sony in my thigh pocket, and the Garmin in the brain of my pack.
    The Garmin was set to "out-of-the-box"-default and I just switched it on in the morning, and off in the evening.
    The Sony was running BC, and I set the interval to 10sec, the min. distance to 10m, and the GPS accuracy to 200m.

    See a sample of both tracks in the Google Earth screenshot (Garmin is wide lines, Sony narrow lines):
    GPS_Garmin-vs-Sony.JPG
    I think the Sony is a doing a pretty good job here.
    True, for specific tasks of high accuracy and relieability, a dedicated GPS device still would make sense.
    But for getting the basic numbers of a hike, a smartphone is more than sufficient, IMHO. If a smartphone GPS is recording 40 miles while the actual hike is roughly 4.4 miles, something else might be defect.
    On my specific hike (which was kind of an exploration of a new route) I loved the BC much more than the Garmin when it came to grafic tasks like zoom/pan/recenter, and adding icons/symbols to the record.
    Last edited by Leo L.; 06-30-2019 at 08:51.

  13. #13
    AT 2012
    Join Date
    09-11-2006
    Location
    Wallingford, CT
    Age
    68
    Posts
    1,725

    Default

    I continue to be a real fan of Maprika- a free "ski area map" app that lets users create and share their own "paper" or jpg maps, which are then usable in airplane mode. Lots of local parks have jpg maps available, which you can "sync" with Google maps in the app, and then track your walk distance. If you try it, start by searching for maps near you.
    Lazarus

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    08-05-2013
    Location
    Sacramento, CA
    Age
    72
    Posts
    1,104

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo L. View Post
    It seems that it makes quite a difference the way you carry the tracking device.

    I'm always using my smartphone running different apps.
    If I carry the phone in my thigh pocket, it will sum up the gained height to an irrelevant high number (roughly double the actual height gain).
    My phone's in a fanny pack looped around my shoulder strap and chest strap. When done with my hike, I save my Alltrails recording, and at that point, the elevation gain is something rediculously high. 20 or 30 minutes later, however, if I pull up that recording, it is now somehow close to accurate - tho, again, the same route hiked on multiple days may show slight differences.
    I dunno -- are there some little Alltrail accountants busily crunching the numbers before they get it right?

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    The way you are carrying your device doesn't look suspicious, but I've noticed that different apps do a different job in calculating the elevation gain. The app providers make it a secret how they calculate the values, esp. how they sort out all the erranous vertical movement the device might undergo during the tracking task.
    I'm using an Austrian app for my local hikes, and it does a really bad job in smoothing out the vertical jumps and jitter when I carry the device in my thigh pocket, while Backcountry Navigator is quite perfect in this task.
    Might as well be that your Alltrail app is outsourcing this smoothing task into the cloud.

  16. #16

    Join Date
    06-22-2014
    Location
    Chambersburg PA
    Posts
    29
    Journal Entries
    5
    Images
    1

    Default

    I use Mapmyhike. It is fairly accurate, but it eats up the battery fast. I like it most because in paying for the upgraded membership I am able to allow other to track me live. It makes my family just a little more comfortable with my solo hikes.

    ~Pamela

    ďNot all those who wander are lost.Ē ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Fellowship of the Ring"

  17. #17

    Default

    GAIA, on my iPhone, has always worked well for me, even under heavy tree canopies. I carry it in a shirt pocket.

  18. #18
    Registered User
    Join Date
    03-20-2013
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Age
    66
    Posts
    885
    Images
    2

    Default

    I used TopoMaps+ free to map my local parkís trails. It seems accurate and repeatable, but it also runs the battery down fast since itís always on.
    76 HawkMtn w/Rangers
    13 HF>CramptonsG
    14 LHHT
    15 Girard/Quebec/LostTurkey/Saylor/Tuscarora/BlackForest
    16 Kennerdell/Cranberry-Otter/DollyS/WRim-NCT
    17 BearR
    18-19 AT NOBO 1540.5

  19. #19
    Registered User
    Join Date
    11-13-2015
    Location
    Orangeville, Ontario, Canada
    Age
    69
    Posts
    403

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fastfoxengineering View Post
    This is what always happens on my Gaia. As much as id be proud of a 45 mile day. It was a 4.4 mile loop

    Sent from my SM-J737V using Tapatalk
    When I observe this happening, I turn off my cellular radio/function on my iPhone. GAIA then doesnít end up searching for marginal cell signal and concentrates only on GPS signal, resulting in much more accurate tracks. The problem lies in combining cell-tower locations at their range limits with GPS signals and having great trouble doing accurate triangulations.
    The bonus is that my iPhone battery lasts much longer because itís not always searching for cell-tower signals.
    I figured this out myself ó and then got it suggested by GAIA support staff.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    12-28-2015
    Location
    Bad Ischl, Austria
    Age
    62
    Posts
    1,110

    Default

    True, Android is providing several different ways to find its own position, one being the cell Towers (which works the fastest, but very coarse), another the WIFI (which works amazingly fast and accurate in civilized areas), and lastly the GPS.
    You can set which way Android is working to some extent.

++ New Posts ++

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •